Photos courtesy of Castelletto di Montebenichi
9 rooms, including 3 suites
Double rooms: 250–360 euros
Open: from third week of April until beginning of November
Montebenichi is about 40 km west of Arezzo and 80 km southeast of Florence. The most best way to reach the castle (and enjoy its surroundings) is by car.
On site: swimming pool; sauna; gym; library
Nearby: hiking; horseback riding; hot air ballooning; polo games; wine, oil and cheese tasting; cooking classes; castle and church visiting; Siena; Arezzo
If you’re looking for a romantic, hidden-away Tuscan castle with gorgeous furnishings and an utterly stunning view, Castelletto di Montebenichi may just be the place.
Off the beaten path in the Chianti region, you’ll pass vineyards and olive groves before winding up a narrow road to the top of a hill and the tiny, medieval village of Montebenichi where you’ll find the castle facing a small plaza.
The atmosphere here is both elegant and relaxed. Marco, your personable host who has a profound knowledge of Tuscany, will happily recommend how to best enjoy the area--from wine tastings and cooking classes to a precious church unknown to the tourist masses. You’re only 1/2 hour away from Siena, which you can even see on a clear day.
Inside the castle you’ll find fine paintings, sculptures, bronzes, restored frescoes and pieces of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan pottery throughout the public rooms.
You can fix your own drink at an open bar and simply enjoy the 360º view of distant mountains and valleys on a rooftop terrace.
Guest rooms are uniquely decorated in a combination of period artwork, antiques, and contemporary furniture. Many of them have rough-hewn beamed ceilings. Bathrooms are equipped with showers and/or baths, accented by travertine marble from local quarries. Views can be of the valley, hills, or town rooftops. (The mini-suite is located in a nearby building.) You’ll find DVD players, satellite TV, Wi-Fi, and air-conditioning in each room.
Montebenichi is extraordinarily quiet at night. Upon waking up, make your way over to the first floor of the castle and take a seat in the fantastic loggia with beautiful arched windows on three sides. Full of sunlight, it’s here where you’ll enjoy a buffet breakfast before starting your day.
Personalized service by your host Marco